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April 17, 2009
Laureus World Sports Awards gala event scaled back to focus on Sport for Good Foundation

Laureus Sport for Good Project Launch - Laureus MotorV8 - Mika Hakkinen working on a cart with members of TRAX during Laureus MotorV8 event at the Dayton Race Track, Milton Keynes on December 3, 2008 in Milton Keynes, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images for Laureus)

From Laureus

(Please scroll down for Italian language version and for List of 2009 Nominations)

LONDON, APRIL 17, 2009 – Laureus and its Partners have made the decision that due to the current economic situation it would be inappropriate to stage a full-scale Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony at this time. Accordingly Laureus will forego
its usual spring celebration.

A key focus for Laureus during 2009 will now be to support the funding and activities of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. There has been tremendous growth recently in the Laureus Foundation, despite the economic downturn, and Laureus will ensure that this is not only sustained but also increases in the future.

The winners of this year’s Laureus World Sports Awards will now receive their Awards individually at a series of presentations during May and June.

Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: “This has been a very difficult decision, but we are painfully aware of the global problems caused by the current economic difficulties. It seemed to us, with so many people suffering,
that this was the wrong time to be staging this event. This is the responsible thing to do and we are sure everyone will understand why we are doing this.

“We will monitor the economic situation over the next few months and announce in due course the arrangements for the next Laureus World Sports Awards.

“Our main priority, as always, given the growth over the last few years of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, is to continue to ensure that nothing impacts on its work and funding in the future. All our energies and resources will be focused
on that goal. This is even more important at a time when charitable donations are declining.”

In 2008 the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation received record funds of almost €8 million to underpin its work, and it now supports almost 70 projects around the world which use sport as the means to help disadvantaged young people.

Richemont and Daimler the joint founders of Laureus, and Global Partner Vodafone, have confirmed their long term commitment to the Laureus World Sports Awards and to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Guy Sanan, spokesperson of Richemont and Laureus CEO, said: “I am sure that everyone feels now is not the right time for a celebration. However I am happy to say that the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is currently receiving record funds to support its work even in these difficult times. Over the next 12 months we will be looking especially at new projects in areas where youngsters have been badly hit by unemployment and the economic downturn.”

Anders Jensen, Vice-President Brand Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “We recognise that the Awards are a key part of Laureus and will remain so. We are also very proud of the successes achieved by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in so
many countries around the world. This is the most important element of our global corporate social responsibility programme and we look forward to continuing to support Laureus in the future.”

David Wheldon, Global Brand Director of Vodafone, whose agreement as a Global Partner of Laureus runs until 2012, said: "Vodafone is an enthusiastic supporter of the Laureus World Sports Awards and we fully understand this decision in these
difficult times. Vodafone is a significant and long-standing supporter of sport sponsorship both at a grass roots and elite level and we look forward to continuing our association with Laureus which does so much good work around the world."

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Italian

LONDRA, 17 APRILE, 2009 – La recessione economica di questi ultimi mesi ha condotto Laureus ed i suoi Partner a rinunciare alla Cerimonia di premiazione dei Laureus World Sports Awards 2009.

Questa decisione è stata presa a favore delle attività svolte dalla Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. La rinuncia alla realizzazione dell’annuale evento porterà a trasferire le relative risorse economiche al finanziamento dei progetti che verranno implementati da ciascuna Fondazione.

I vincitori di ciascuna categoria dei Laureus World Sports Awards di quest’anno riceveranno il premio individualmente durante una serie di eventi che si terranno nei mesi di Maggio e Giugno.

Edwin Moses, il presidente della Laureus Sports Academy, ha affermato: “Questa è stata una decisione molto difficile da prendere, ma siamo consapevoli dei problemi che la crisi economica sta provocando in tutto il mondo. Molte persone sono state colpite da questa depressione, ci è sembrato pertanto opportuno annullare questo evento. Abbiamo voluto assumerci questa responsabilità e sono sicuro che comprenderete le motivazioni”.

“La nostra priorità è, come sempre, quella di sostenere le attività della Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in modo che nulla possa limitare il loro svolgimento. In un momento in cui le donazioni sono in calo tutte le nostre energie e risorse saranno concentrate su questo obiettivo”.

Nel 2008 Laureus Sport for Good Foundation ha ricevuto fondi per quasi 8 milioni di Euro. Sono stati finanziati, in tutto il mondo, più di 70 progetti che utilizzano lo sport come mezzo per aiutare giovani in condizioni di disagio.

Richemont e Daimler, i due fondatori di Laureus e il Global Partner Vodafone, hanno confermato il loro impegno a lungo termine verso i Laureus World Sports Awards e la Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Guy Sanan, portavoce di Richemont e Direttore Generale di Laureus, ha dichiarato: “ Sono convinto che tutti abbiano la certezza che non sia il momento adatto per festeggiare. Sono pertanto felice di annunciare che Laureus Sport for Good Foundation riceverà i nostri fondi per sostenere, in questo difficile periodo, le innumerevoli attività sociali. Nell’arco dei prossimi 12 mesi vorremmo inoltre sostenere nuovi progetti attuati nelle aree dove i giovani sono stati maggiormente colpiti dalla disoccupazione e dalla crisi economica”.

Anders Jensen, Vice Presidente Brand Communications Mercedes-Benz Auto, ha affermato: “Gli Awards sono e saranno un elemento fondamentale di Laureus. Siamo inoltre orgogliosi dei successi ottenuti dalla Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in così tanti Paesi del mondo. Continueremo a considerare Laureus parte dei nostri programmi di responsabilità sociale”.

David Wheldon, Global Brand Director di Vodafone, il cui accordo come Global Partner della Laureus è valido fino al 2012, ha dichiarato: “ Vodafone è un partner dei Laureus World Sports Awards, ma comprende e appoggia la decisione presa in questo difficile momento. Vodafone è da sempre impegnata nel mondo dello sport, a vari livelli, e spera pertanto di continuare a sostenere le attività internazionali svolte da Laureus”.

Laureus World Sports Awards Nominations

BOLT, PHELPS, ISINBAYEVA, DIBABA, ZOU KAI AMONG OLYMPIC HEROES NOMINATED FOR LAUREUS WORLD SPORTS AWARDS

• American golf legend Tiger Woods nominated for record eighth time
• Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United and Spain head football challenge
• Rafael Nadal and Venus Williams short-listed for Sportsman and Sportswoman
• Motor sport’s Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Valentino Rossi selected
• Brazil’s Paralympic swim star Daniel Dias nominated for second year

LONDON, April 17, 2009 - A glittering collection of the world’s greatest sports
stars have been nominated for the 10th Laureus World Sports Awards, following a
ballot by the world’s media. Many of the nominations reflect the highly successful
Olympic and Paralympic Games held in Beijing.

Among the major contests between Olympians for Laureus Awards which have been
triggered by the votes of the media from 112 countries are:

• The Fastest Man on Earth Usain Bolt against swimming’s medal machine Michael
Phelps for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year title
• Pole vault legend Yelena Isinbayeva competes with 5,000 & 10,000 metres double
gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba for Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
• And there is a three-way battle for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award
between the Chinese Olympic Team, the Jamaican Sprint Team and the British Cycle
Team.

But it is by no means certain to be an Olympic walkover for the 2009 Laureus World
Sports Awards. There are many other strong contenders after a scintillating year of
sporting action. In motor sport, Britain’s Lewis Hamilton became the youngest ever
Formula One World Champion, Germany’s Sebastian Vettel was the youngest winner of a
Grand Prix and Italy’s Valentino Rossi won his sixth senior Moto GP World
Championship. Football’s charismatic Cristiano Ronaldo and the Spain national team,
which won the European Championship, have both been nominated, as has Mexico’s
Lorena Ochoa, who once again dominated women’s golf, and five-times Wimbledon winner
Venus Williams.

Including Hamilton, Isinbayeva and Rossi, no fewer than eight previous recipients of
Laureus Awards have been short-listed again. The others are Rafael Nadal, Kelly
Slater, Shaun White, Tiger Woods and British football club Manchester United. For
American golfer Woods, it is a record eighth nomination, on this occasion in the
Laureus Comeback category.

Among the other Olympians nominated are Chinese gymnast Zou Kai and swimmers Rebecca
Adlington from Britain and Australia’s Stephanie Rice. Holland’s Maarten van der
Weijden, who won an Olympic swimming gold medal after beating leukaemia, and
Australian silver medallist Anna Meares, who broke her neck in a cycle crash just
eight months before the Olympics, are among the nominees for the Laureus Comeback
Award.

Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias, 20, is nominated for the Laureus Disability Award for
the second year after he was leading medal winner at the Beijing Paralympic Games,
while legendary American surfer Kelly Slater, 36, is nominated for Laureus World
Action Sportsperson of the Year after winning a ninth world title.

The full list of nominees for the 2009 Laureus World Sports Awards is:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) – first man to win 100m, 200m & 4x100m Olympic gold medals in
world records
Lewis Hamilton (UK) - youngest ever Formula One World Champion at 23 years and 300 days
Rafael Nadal (Spain) – won French Open, Wimbledon & Olympic gold medal to become
tennis No.1
Michael Phelps (US) – won eight gold medals in a single Olympiad to overtake Mark
Spitz’s record
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – FIFA World Player of the Year, scored 42 goals for
Manchester United
Valentino Rossi (Italy) - beat Giacomo Agostini’s record 68 500cc wins, and won 6th
senior world title

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) –became first woman to win 5,000m & 10,000m double at
same Olympics
Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) – created her 24th world record in Beijing to win the
pole vault gold medal
Lorena Ochoa (Mexico) – won seven tournaments in 2008, was almost $1m ahead on money
list
Stephanie Rice (Australia) –won three swimming gold medals in Beijing; set 5 world
records in 2008
Lindsey Vonn (US) – won Alpine World Cup title, also World Cup discipline leader in
downhill
Venus Williams (US) – won her 5th Wimbledon title in 2008, also won Olympic doubles
gold medal

Laureus World Team of the Year
Boston Celtics (US) – beat Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA play-offs for a record
17th time
China Olympic Team – best ever Olympic result, led medals table with 51 gold, 21
silver, 28 bronze
GB Olympic Cycle Team (UK) – dominated the Beijing velodrome with 8 gold, 4 silver,
2 bronze
Jamaica Olympic Sprint Team – beat US favourites for a near clean sweep of Olympic
sprint medals
Manchester United (UK) - won third European Champions League and also English
Premier League
Spain Football Team - won European Championship, their first major title for 44 years

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Rebecca Adlington (UK) - 19, unknown at the start of the year, won Olympic 400m &
800m freestlye
Novak Djokovic (Serbia) – 21, won his first Grand Slam tennis title at the
Australian Open
Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) – 20, won first Grand Slam at French Open, was tennis World
No.1 for 9 weeks
Anthony Kim (US) – 23, won two US PGA events, and was star of US Ryder Cup win
Sebastian Vettel (Germany) – youngest ever F1 Grand Prix winner, at 21 years, 73
days, at Monza
Zou Kai (China) - won three gymnastic gold medals in Beijing on his Olympic debut

Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Vitali Klitschko (Ukraine) – regained World Heavyweight Championship at 37 after
four years out
Anna Meares (Australia) – won Olympic silver medal eight months after breaking neck
in cycle crash
Greg Norman (Australia) – finished 3rd in British Open golf at the age of 53, while
on his honeymoon
Matthias Steiner (Germany) – won weightlifting Olympic gold a year after his wife
died in car crash
Maarten van der Weijden (Netherlands) - won Olympic swimming gold medal after
beating leukaemia
Tiger Woods (US) - returned two months after serious knee injury to win US Open golf
championship

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Daniel Dias (Brazil) – 20, leading swimmer at Paralympics with 4 gold, 4 silver and
1 bronze medals
April Holmes (US) – world’s fastest female amputee, won 100 metres at Paralympics
Darren Kenny (UK) – Paralympic cyclist who won 4 gold and 1 silver medals in Beijing.
Jonas Jacobsson (Sweden) – has won a shooting gold medal in the eight Paralympics
since 1980
Teresa Perales (Spain) – won 3 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals in Paralympic
swimming
Zhang Lixin (China) - became the local hero in Beijing with four wheelchair racing
gold medals

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Julien Absalon (France) - became first man to defend Olympic cross-country mountain
bike title
Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) - won surfing world title in rookie year 2007, and
also 2008
Aaron Hadlow (UK) – 19, won PKRA kiteboarding world tour for fifth straight time
Tanner Hall (US) – now the most successful Winter X Games athlete ever with seven
gold medals
Kelly Slater (US) - At 36, legendary surfing master Kelly Slater won his ninth world
title
Shaun White (US) – snowboarder, won Winter X Games Superpipe and bronze Slopestyle

For detailed biographies of nominees go to
http://www.laureus.com/awards/2009/nominees

Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses said: “This has been a great year
for sport and the Academy are going to find it extremely difficult to decide who to
vote for as winners. This is always the case in an Olympics year, but we have has
some very strong performances from the non-Olympic sports. I congratulate all the
nominees”.

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